Democratisation of Water and Sanitation Governance by Means of Socio-Technical Innovation (DESAFIO), 1 February 2013- 31 July 2015

DESAFIO literally means “challenge” in both Portuguese and Spanish, and the main aim of this new project is to make a contribution towards tackling what is arguably one of the major challenges facing Brazil -and Latin American and Caribbean countries more generally- in the twenty-first century: eradicating structural social inequality in the access to essential water and sanitation services (WSS). In this regard, the main tenet of DESAFIO is that achieving the development goals set by the international community for the next two decades in relation to the reduction of poverty levels and enhancing environmental sustainability, crucially depends on harnessing existing and developing new appropriate and innovative socio-technical solutions for the provision of safe WSS.



The European Commission’s Research and Innovation section for the Social Sciences and Humanities published an interview with DESAFIO’s Co-ordinator about the project’s contribution to current debates about the Zika virus epidemic. Read the interview here.


The EU has published a brief synopsis of DESAFIO’s key recommendations in a selection of the most relevant projects on development funded under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7): Open the Door: Social Science Research for Development and a Sustainable Future




Video clips from our project work:

About the Project

This project brings together researchers form WATERLAT-GOBACIT’s Thematic Area 3, dedicated to “The urban water cycle and essential water services”, jointly with colleagues from other institutions in Europe and Latin America.

DESAFIO is a Collaborative Project for specific cooperation action dedicated to international cooperation (CP-FP-SICA) funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Cooperation Programme. It is funded as part of call SSH.2012.2.1-2. “Social innovation for vulnerable populations”, Theme 8: “Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities”, Activity 8.2: “Combining economic, social and environmental objectives in a European perspective: Paths towards sustainable development”, Area: 8.2.1. “Socio-economic development trajectories”. Grant Agreement No. 320303.

The project publishes a quarterly newsletter and other dissemination materials. Visit DESAFIO’s web site for further information (leaves WATERLAT-GOBACIT’s website).


Project’s Photo Gallery